Off-Road Bumpers Offer Looks & Versatility

Drivers & shops can’t seem to get enough of today’s off-road bumper options…

This article originally appeared in the July 2024 issue of THE SHOP magazine and is the second in a two-part series highlighting the off-road bumpers market. Part I appeared in the May 2024 issue of THE SHOP magazine.

Many customers can’t get enough of today’s off-road bumpers, and the same often goes for shops looking to capitalize on the market.

Offering style, performance and utility upgrades, the bumpers are a staple of today’s 4×4 and overlanding markets. Opportunities have attracted a long list of suppliers, meaning there’s a lot of information to sift through.

Still, patterns emerge regarding best practices and popular sales techniques that match clients with the bumper products and related accessories they desire. The following are some suggestions on how to approach off-road bumpers for the best results.

Fishbone bumper on white Jeep
Planned modifications can influence bumper selection. (Photo courtesy Fishbone Offroad)


With the variety of off-road bumpers available in today’s market, any smart sale starts with asking customers about their expectations regarding looks and performance.

“Is it an appearance play? Is this going to be a serious off-road vehicle? What are the clearance needs for their specific type of off-roading? Do they plan on towing?” asks Jeff Perez, director of business development for automotive at ARIES.

From there, he continues, it’s time to ask about features such as if the bumper can accommodate a winch, and if the customer is interested in additional accessories such as auxiliary lights, D-rings, shackles or a front Stinger.

Artie Nuttall, CEO for Artec Industries, suggests shops ask about the typical off-road environments the customer frequents and the level of protection they’re seeking.

“Questions about past experiences with underbody damage can also guide the conversation toward the importance of specific solutions such as robust bellypan protection,” he explains.

And don’t forget future plans, notes Michael “MB” Bernard, VP of sales and marketing for Fishbone Offroad.

“What do they plan on using the vehicle for, and what other modifications/accessories do they plan on doing after the bumper?” he asks.

Eric Blackburn, director of sales for Warrior Products, says it pays to start with the style the customer is seeking—stubby, mid-width or full-width. From there shops can ask if the vehicle is for off-road use or street only.

“Also, are they installing a winch, now or in the future?” he adds.

Warrior bumper on red Jeep
Ask customers about style preferences and what types of off-road activities they enjoy. (Photo courtesy Warrior Products)


Many shops have had success looking to this market as a way of introducing their products and services to local customers.

“Some consider the bumper the gateway to more upfits and accessories,” Bernard notes.

Successful installations can initiate additional vehicle accessorization, at the time of purchase and in the future.

“They lead to add-on sales, and to selling and installing complementary products,” says Perez.

Nuttall highlights the enhanced reputation that comes from offering high-end, durable products that off-roaders appreciate.

“Shops will be seen as a go-to source for top-tier off-road modifications, attracting a clientele that values quality and thorough protection,” he predicts.

One of today’s hottest pairings, notes Blackburn, are off-road bumpers and aftermarket lighting products.

“In addition to the obvious opportunity to sell a winch, our MOD Series front bumpers come with fog light brackets and adapters that allow the OEM Jeep fog lights from the customer’s factory bumper to be reinstalled. They are also compatible with aftermarket options, making this a great opportunity for upselling lights,” he explains. “The top surface and brush guard also offer a wide variety of mounting options for common accessories such as lights, CB antennas and sand flags, and they are also compatible with accessories such as our MOD Box and QuickLatch kits.”

Artec underbody protection
Check with drivers regarding the level of protection they’re seeking. (Photo courtesy Artec Industries)


A smart approach to promoting off-road bumper sales is to display one on a truck or SUV outside of your shop featuring the latest styles and designs, say Perez from ARIES.

It’s also a plus if your staff can identify and recommend specific products for specific models.

“Make sure you can speak to the customer about their Jeep, be it a CJ, TJ, YJ, JK, JL or JT,” he notes.

Warrior Products’ MOD Series bumpers are made in the USA, Blackburn notes, a feature customers can appreciate.

“Traditionally, U.S. products demand a higher sale price, leading to more revenue. The customer will often be happier with the final product and the shop will have built/maintained trust with that customer,” he says.

Nuttall from Artec recommends emphasizing the long-term cost savings and vehicle protection provided by high-quality upgrades, including bellypans.

“Demonstrating the technical superiority and the ease of installation of our products can also help in convincing customers of their value,” he says. “This approach aligns product strengths with the needs of potential customers.”

Have a few on hand inside your showroom as well, says Fishbone’s Bernard.

“It’s always best to have some on display so the customer can touch and feel them,” he suggests. “A good second option is to build a gallery of previously installed bumpers and accessories.”

Jef White

Jef White is the executive editor of THE SHOP magazine.

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